Reinhardt will have a new leader for its strength and conditioning program after the hiring of Tyler Bertolini last week.
Bertolini replaces Ellis Spratlin, who spent two years as Reinhardt’s strength and conditioning coordinator before taking the same position earlier this summer at West Alabama.
“It was a great opportunity,” Bertolini said. “I was super excited and really blessed to get this chance to take over a team in the area where I grew up and recruited me out of high school. It just fell in my lap and was a good chance to get closer to home.”
The Ellijay native has been well traveled early in his coaching career. He got his start as a strength and conditioning intern at Kennesaw State in 2016, then moved into the same position at LSU the next year.
“That was a great experience,” Bertolini said of his time at LSU. “I learned a lot there and picked up a ton from (strength and conditioning) coach (Tommy) Moffitt and the staff there. They were one of my favorite staffs to work for. They were super exciting and fun.”
He also served as an assistant at his alma mater, Berry College, before spending the last year as a graduate assistant at the University of Montana.
“One thing I really liked was being able to see a bunch of different staffs and see how different coaches do different things,” Bertolini said. “I think, in the world of strength and conditioning, everyone does something very well. It’s been very useful for me to take what I think works from those places and try to mold them into my program.”
In addition to his coaching experience, Bertolini will also bring plenty of experience as a player to the field. A three-sport letterman at Gilmer High School, Bertolini also spent four years as a linebacker at Berry, where he was an all-conference selection as a senior.
“That was one of my best experiences in my life,” he said. “I just learned the value of hard work. The coaches we had at Berry showed me, if you put the time in and improve, you can see the field. That’s what we want to give the players at Reinhardt — a program that will allow them to improve and get on the field.”
Bertolini’s main goal will be to prepare Reinhardt’s teams for play on the field, but he also knows what it is like to place emphasis on academics. He was an academic all-state selection in high school before becoming a two-time Southern Athletic Association honor roll member at Berry.
“It was one thing instilled in me by my parents,” Bertolini said. “There is life beyond the sport of football. At this level, not a lot of guys are going to go pro. I want them to be their best on the field, but, overall, it’s just as important that they are working hard in the classroom and making sure they’re taking care of that stuff, too. That’s really what is going to carry you in life, even if you do go pro for a little bit.”
Bertolini’s biggest assignment at Reinhardt will be working with the football team, but he will work with all of Reinhardt’s teams. He also has experience with soccer, lacrosse, baseball and volleyball, and he hopes that experience will help him improve the Eagles’ performances across the board.
“Different sports require different things,” Bertolini said. “I welcome to work with different sports, though, and really expand my knowledge. I’ve played everything at least at the recreational level. It’s fun to see different mindsets, with what I can teach them and they can teach me. They obviously know about their sport more than I ever could.”